U.S. Supreme Court

These 3 Supreme Court justices each earned more than $100K from book projects last year

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Financial disclosure forms indicate that three justices on the U.S. Supreme Court each earned more than $100,000 in 2021 as a result of book deals.

Fix the Court, a court transparency group, posted the disclosures and summarized the findings.

Law.com, the Washington Post, Law60 and the Associated Press are among the publications with coverage.

The three justices are:

• Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who received $425,000 from the Javelin Group, a literary agency. The amount is likely an advance on a reported $2 million book deal previously reported by Politico, which relied on unidentified sources.

• Justice Neil Gorsuch, who received $250,000. He will be writing a book about his views on the judicial and regulatory process, a spokesperson for HarperCollins told the Washington Post. He previously received $650,000 for A Republic, If You Can Keep It, his 2019 book.

• Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who received $115,593 in royalties for her two children’s books from Penguin Random House and $5,125 for optioning one of them to a TV production company. Sotomayor has earned nearly $3.4 million in book advances and royalties since joining the Supreme Court, according to Fix the Court.

The disclosures also show teaching income for Gorsuch, Barrett and Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh.

Thomas was paid $29,595 by the George Washington University Law School and the University of Notre Dame’s law school; Gorsuch was paid $26,541 by George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School; Kavanaugh was paid $25,541 by George Mason University’s law school; and Barrett was paid $14,280 by the University of Notre Dame’s law school.

George Mason University paid Gorsuch for teaching for two weeks in Iceland at its National Security Institute. Justice Elena Kagan also taught there for a period of six days. She was reimbursed for expenses but did not take a salary.

Justice Samuel Alito has not yet released a financial disclosure.

The reported income is in addition to the associate justices’ annual salaries of $268,300 in 2021. Chief Justice John Roberts was paid $280,500.

The justices’ disclosures were released as thumb drives, according to Fix the Court. In the future, the justices’ disclosures will be posted online because of a new law passed by Congress.

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